The Fickle Crowd

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 14:8-20

TO CHEW ON: "Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead." Acts 14:19

"Paul heals the man at Lystra" - Caspar Luiken, 1672-1708

Have you ever been to a sports game where the hometown team starts making mistakes? Very quickly a cheering crowd turns into a hissing, booing one.

Paul and Barnabas found this out. When they came to Lystra, Paul healed a man who had never walked.

After seeing that, the people were in awe of Barnabas and Paul.

"Paul in Lystra" - Artist unknown, 1897

They tried to pray to them. Paul quickly told them to stop and explained they should worship only the God of heaven

"In Lystra" - Artist unknown

But then some of the Jewish leaders from the towns where Paul and Barnabas had visited earlier, arrived in Lystra. They persuaded the crowd Paul and Barnabas were bad men who deserved death. The crowd turned from worshiping Paul and Barnabas to trying to kill Paul. They stoned him then they dragged him outside the city thinking he was dead.

"Paul stoned" by J. C. Weigel, 1695

We can’t measure our success by how we’re treated by the crowd. We may be popular with the crowd one day, and persecuted the next. Instead we live to please only one person. Who is that?

- Our parent?
- Our friend?
- Ourselves?
- Jesus?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to stay loyal to You, no matter what the crowd around me does. Amen.

MORE: Many Miles

Draw the rest of Paul’s journey and the return trip on your map.

1. From Iconium to –> Lystra to –> Derbe.

2. The return trip: Lystra –> Iconium –> Antioch –> through Pisidia –> Pamphylia –> Perga –> Attalia –> sailed back to Antioch

3. Bible teachers think Paul and Barnabas were away on their mission trip for a year and a half (18 months). In that time they covered about 1250 miles. They traveled most of the land miles by foot – walking!


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